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The Budget Crisis and the Fiscal Cliff: Time For Republicans To Ditch Grover Norquist Tax Extremism

According to wordnet.com, the definition of extremism is ‘any political theory favoring immoderate, uncompromising policies…’

Enter the current negotiations shaping up over the fiscal cliff.

Once again, Republicans find themselves backed into a corner due to their own extremism. This particular extremism centers around a political ideology which takes on faith the notion that it is never good to raise taxes. It is an ideology arising from an essential conservative suspicion of government power. A concern which would be healthy if it weren’t so hypocritical, myopic and self-serving. For Republicans have, traditionally, supported ‘big government’ when it comes to military spending, draconian security laws like the Patriot Act, helping wealthy entities of their choosing, like the fossil fuel industry, and legislating what women can do with their bodies. More positively, many Republicans have tended to support broader scientific endeavors such as space exploration. But this support, which is to their credit, is drastically undercut by a Republican tendency to work to defund and emasculate the government on all levels. Under such an ideological constraint, the US would never have put a man on the moon. The US would never have entered and fought World War II. The US would have never developed a public education system that became a model for the world. And the US would never have built its economy-enhancing infrastructures — such as the power grid and the public highway systems. Revenue was essential for all these ventures and revenue was rightly procured from those most able to pay taxes — to a greater extent from the wealthy and from those well-off enough to stand on their own two feet economically.

Procuring taxes in this way is fair and just. But, increasingly, the Republicans seem to wish to make exempt those who are most wealthy among us while shifting an ever greater burden to those least able to bear it. At the heart of all this pro-wealthy extremism and class warfare is the Grover Norquist pledge to never raise taxes.

Never raising taxes is, in its very essence, a warfare against the US government system. All government systems — including those Republicans traditionally favor. It endlessly undercuts the federal government’s ability to raise money and is, therefore, an existential threat to US government. In the narrow corridors of Republican ideology, the fantasy notion that all government is bad, all government is tyrannical, provides a flimsy justification for legislative warfare against the US democratic and federal systems. But in the real world, this warfare results in massive devastation — crippling critical programs that provide immense benefit to the American people.

FEMA, NOAA, NASA, EPA, The Department of Education, Medicare, Social Security, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, The National Science Foundation, and many, many, many other programs that provide valuable research and services which promote the development and health of our country. These programs result in thousands and thousands of opportunities for jobs and innovation as well as provide major assistance and enablement to Americans in every walk of life. Supports for funding for these programs come from both Republicans and Democrats with many legislators fighting over where these programs will locate their facilities so as to gain economic advantage for their districts.

Yet when it comes to actually funding these key programs, Republicans suffer from ideological paralysis. There is a major disconnect between their notion of the benefit of these programs for their individual states and districts and the need to provide federal revenues to support these programs. Instead, Republicans rely on the failed, and dis-proven throughout history, notion that so long as you cut taxes, economic growth resulting from tax cuts will magically create more revenue than the amount cut. First, no research supports that tax cuts primarily benefiting the rich, like the cuts Republicans continue to support, have any substantial benefit to the economy. If this were the case, the failed Bush Tax Cuts would have resulted in a golden age of economic growth. Instead, under the continuing regime of the Bush Tax Cuts, we have had two recessions and a financial collapse. Not a very good record at all.

Even worse, a political parasite by the name of Grover Norquist has trolled the halls of Congress for decades, circulating a ridiculous pledge. This tax pledge is, in essence, a promise that the signer will never, ever raise taxes.

The ludicrous nature of this pledge is that it cuts against the grain of effective government established since the dawn of time. For a government to be viable, it must be able to generate revenue. And if taxes are endlessly cut, then, eventually, that government will no longer exist. For legislators to sign such a pledge is, in essence, them signing the death knell to their own positions within the government they have, ignorantly, just sworn to destroy.

It is difficult to imagine a greater statement of hatred of the American system of government than in signing a no tax pledge. It is one thing to be ideologically predisposed to generally lower tax rates. It is another thing, altogether, to sign an extremist agreement to never raise taxes again. Unfortunately, a majority of Republicans have signed this insane agreement that is guaranteed to explode the budget deficit, if adhered to.

The complete dis-connect with reality underlying this pledge could best be illustrated by describing its opposite. Suppose Democrats signed a pledge to never cut spending? Over time, government would grow and grow until it came to dominate the entire economy. The result would be a totalitarian government. That said, Democrats have never signed such a pledge. They have cut spending against their interests and ideological leanings again and again. They understand that, sometimes, spending cuts are needed, for the good of the country. They are, in other words, moderate and reasonable. Able to govern effectively without constraint to a single set of narrow values.

Republicans, on the other hand, have chained themselves to totalitarian anarchy — a system that endlessly cuts necessary government to the bone and risks its disintegration.

So consider the fiscal cliff crisis an opportunity for Republicans to show they are, in fact, not extremists. Show that Republicans are, in fact, capable of rational governing. Show that Republicans can compromise as Democrats have. It is time for rational Republicans to step away from the Grover Norquist Tax Pledge and to support reasonable new sources of revenue, like moderately increasing taxes on the top earners in our country.

There is no way to deal with the deficit through spending cuts alone. There is no way to close enough loop holes to deal with the budget crisis. Any deal must include new revenues from top earners. And for this to happen, Republicans are going to have to take a necessary step away from the extremist elements in their party.

Such steps will be difficult. Such steps will result in loud cries from the most extreme and vocal wings of the party. But such steps will help to begin to heal the Republican party, to begin to re-assert its legitimacy and rationality in the eyes of the American people. Sticking to deficit brinksmanship and an allegiance to a man — Grover Norquist — and not to the American system of government is a recipe for the ultimate disintegration of the Republican party.

This is a make or break moment for Republicans, a group I once considered myself a member of. This is a moment of turning — toward a final and deadly embrace of extremism, or away. Away from that terrible trap and back toward the Republican party’s better angels. The moderates. Those who actually remember what Lincoln stood for. Those who actually value the integrity of a functional republic. Those who understand Roosevelt’s crusade against abusive businesses, trusts and robber barons. Those who believe in a strong America — not just in the extreme views espoused by a few narrow individuals.

It is high time for Republicans to decide if they are, in fact, Americans and not just a member of the tribe of Norquist.

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Mitch McConnell Fails in #1 Goal: Defeat Obama; US Electorate Rejects Extreme Republican Obstructionist Agenda in 2012 Election

Last night, Republicans were dealt a severe loss. They received a terrible drubbing in the presidential race — losing previously Republican states of Virginia, Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, Iowa, and Nevada. They were summarily rejected by the industrial states of America — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin. New York City, home to an increasingly whiny class of rich elites, was the epicenter for a massive loss for Republicans in New York. Overall, it appears Obama also won the popular vote by a comfortable margin, beating out Mitt Romney by more than 2.3 percent.

The loss was magnified by the fact that secret money super-pacs heavily favored the Romney campaign. When you add in the fact that oil, gas, and coal companies spent nearly half a billion dollars to support Romney and other GOP candidates, it clearly shows the strength and marvel of Obama’s win.

The rejection of the rich, establishment, fossil fuel and extremist agendas was also apparent in the Senate. So far, democrats have extended their majority by two seats and have added an independent ally. In total, those who caucus with democrats on most issues include a much more solid majority of 55 seats. In the House, Republicans appear likely to lose 5 seats. Though Republican losses in the House are not enough to re-establish Democratic control, they do erode overall Republican Congressional influence.

The US electorate’s action against Republican extremism and obstructionism becomes even more clear when you dig down to look at who actually lost. The most extreme anti-abortion Republicans — Aikin and Mourdock — were both summarily defeated. Scott Brown, a tea partier, fell to the ardent progressive Elizabeth Warren. Sherrod Brown, both a climate and working class champion, handily defeated a tea party challenge from the anti-women’s rights Josh Mandel. The progressive Tim Kaine defeated ‘tax cuts for the rich’ George Allen. Patrick Murphy appears to have narrowly edged out tea party extremist Allen West. Stalwart progressive Alan Greyson has returned to the House and will likely prove a thorn in Republicans sides.

Among the more extreme Republicans (a relative term in a rather extreme party), only Michelle Bachman appears to have scraped by, barely eeking out a victory by a mere 4,000 votes.

Mitch McConnell, who lead the Republican hostage taking of the US economy in order to extort more tax cuts for the rich and to sabotage Obama’s re-election, has summarily failed. The Republican Party, who pushed ever more extreme conservative policies and who attempted to employ voter suppression over a swath of swing states, has summarily failed. This loss is nothing short of a new rejection of failed Republican policies and of denying Republicans the opportunity to re-assert their trickle-down economics, their anti-woman agenda, their anti-immigrant agenda, and an oil, gas, and coal backed set of policies that will result in a hellish heartland and flooded coastlines.

Republicans, who continue to rationalize ways to keep living in their bubble reality, will now attempt to claim that the American people have mandated that Obama and Democrats acquiesce to Republican demands. But this is nothing more than a false assertion. What the American people have mandated is that Republicans be less extreme. That they do not only represent the wealthy. That they do not continue to deny climate change. That they do not continue to endlessly seek to extort tax cuts for the rich. That they do not endlessly seek to de-regulate Wall Street. That they do not continue to push policies that encourage companies to ship US jobs overseas. That they do not continue to attack, demonize, and victimize immigrants. And that they do not continue their endless assault on women’s rights.

In order for Republicans, and America for that matter, to survive and thrive, they must begin to moderate their positions on all these issues. To fail to do so would be to consign them, and possibly the rest of us too, to the dust bin of history. And that is the lesson people should learn from this election. Democrats have already moderated their position on many, many issues. It is now the Republicans turn to cast away their extremist roots and meet us where we already stand — in the middle.

Auto Workers File Ethics Complaint Against Romney; Did Mitt Romney Break the Law While Preying on US Industry?

The United Auto Workers and Service Employees International Union filed an ethics complaint against Mitt Romney for illegally hiding profits he made during the US auto bailout yesterday.

According to news reports and the investigative reporting of Greg Palast, Mitt and Ann Romney invested $1 million dollars in GOP guru and mega-donor Paul Singer’s hedge fund — Elliott Management. Elliott then bought out major US auto parts manufacturer Delphi nearing bankruptcy at pennies on the dollar — 67 cents per share. As the US government began to bail out auto manufacturers GM and Chrysler, Singer demanded that Delphi also be bailed out saying “because if you don’t, we’ll shut you down.” This hostage taking of a key US industry by Singer resulted in shock from the government committee tasked with saving the US auto industry which described Singer’s actions as treating the US as a dictator would a third world country.

The government, seeing no other way to save the US auto industry without a parts supplier, acquiesced to Singer’s demands and Singer, who now was essentially in control of Delphi, used the funds to make Delphi profitable again. But only for investors. He cut workers pensions and went public with the corporation pushing share values to over 22 dollars. Delphi also profited by utilizing a number of other unsavory practices. The first was taking a page from Romney’s Bain Capital and shipping US jobs to China. Of the 25,000 well-paying union jobs that Delphi once employed, zero remain. Further, under the republican Singer, Delphi liquidated its US presence. Of the 29 factories Delphi once operated in the US, four remain. The rest all operate on foreign shores — in Mexico or China. Under Singer, Delphi continued its hostage-taking practices demanding exorbitant high prices for the parts it sold to GM. Singer’s combination of predatory market cornering, blackmailing the government for a bailout, shipping US jobs overseas, and destroying unions resulted in larger profits for his fund and his clients, the Romneys.

These profits were then taken and hidden in a tax haven on the Isle of Jersey.

Before we move on to the Romneys role in this action, it is important to note how critical the US automobile industry is to both the US economy and to US national security. The industry serves two major purposes in this respect. First, it results in the employment of millions of Americans through its direct manufacturing facilities and through its supply chain. And, second, it serves as an emergency industrial capacity in the event of a major war. During World War II, the US relied on this manufacturing might to become the ‘Armory of Democracy.’ Though somewhat diminished, this indigenous capacity remains a bastion of American strength in the world. Singer’s actions not only harmed workers and the larger US economy, they also directly harmed US national security — in favor of the Chinese.

Moving on, it is estimated that the Romneys made anywhere between 15 and 115 million dollars off of Singer’s predatory actions against a critical US Industry, the US government auto bailout, and against working Americans. And while this may be as unsavory as many of Romney’s other vulture capitalist ventures, Singer’s almost certainly criminal activities have, thus far escaped legal action.

That’s where the Ethics filing against Romney comes into play. The Romneys have not disclosed these profits. Under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 politicians are legally obligated to make public all profits related to holdings that may be affected by a government action. In other words, it is illegal for politicians to keep secret investments that may benefit or may have benefited from government action, like the bailout Singer extorted for Delphi.

The Romneys predatory benefit from the auto bailout in the case of their Elliott/Delphi investment is just such an instance, while their failure to disclose this information is almost certainly breaking the law. So the US auto worker filing may just catch the Romneys by the tail of their heinous venture.

Romney’s own endless political and rhetorical attacks against the US auto industry, taken in this context seem ever more dark, underhanded, and vicious. Romney had called for Detroit to go bankrupt. Romney has cynically and viciously profited by preying on the bailout he opposed, further weakening the industry and hampering its recovery. And now Romney engages in a smear campaign waged against the US auto industry and the workers themselves. The only surprise is that workers and the US auto industry didn’t fire back at Romney sooner. Now, at least, it appears Romney’s vicious and self-serving acts have made him a determined enemy out of a great US industry. One wonders if the American people will be next to join in the fray?

Links:

http://www.thenation.com/article/170644/mitt-romneys-bailout-bonanza#

http://www.gregpalast.com/uaw-files-charges-against-romney-on-his-auto-bail-out-profiteering/

http://www.salon.com/2012/10/19/how_mitt_romney_made_a_fortune_off_the_auto_bailout/

http://www.thedetroitbureau.com/2012/10/romney-accused-of-personally-profiting-as-1000s-of-delphi-retirees-lost-pensions/

http://www.clevelandleader.com/node/19289

Romney, Who Vowed to Eliminate FEMA, Privatize Disaster Relief and Mocked Climate Change, Finds Extremist Policy Positions Inundated By Superstorm Sandy

Storms, storms, and more storms… After a storm-shortened convention in Tampa and a storm-emasculated final week of campaigning, you’d think the Romney campaign would learn to respect the powerful climate forces he’s gotten so good at ignoring.

And, perhaps, the Romney campaign is a bit taken aback. Or maybe it’s finally starting to sink in that they look like a boatload of out of touch buffoons. After ignoring reporters questions for almost a week, today Mitt Romney finally walked back his long-standing policy position that had pushed for the elimination of critical disaster relief programs like FEMA. Though it seemed a forced and painful admission, Romney, at long last, noted that he wouldn’t underfund or eliminate FEMA, as he had proposed throughout his campaign.

“I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters,” Romney said. “As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first-responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters.”

This statement is in direct contradiction to previous statements Romney made about the role of FEMA. It is also in direct contradiction with Romney and Ryan budgets which cut about 40% from FEMA programs. Such cuts would devastate FEMA’s ability to aid localities and states in the event of a disaster like Sandy and flies directly in the face of lessons Republicans should have learned after Katrina.

The privatization program that Romney and Ryan allude to would be even worse. The result would be that those who could pay to be lifted off their homes by helicopters would be. The rest, those unable to afford a private disaster response service, would be left on their flooded homes to fend for themselves or to perish. Privatized first response would mean that only those able to pay fire services fees would receive defense from fire fighters. The rest would see their homes left to burn.

In the case of disaster response, privatization makes absolutely no sense. Injecting profit motive into a service that saves lives means that fewer lives are saved as the bottom line shifts from the goal of helping people to the goal of accumulating profit. And in the gap between the two extremes of such a heartless program, many would find themselves facing a choice between bankruptcy or having their lives or property saved.

Romney and Ryan’s myopic views on disaster relief are drastically proven wrong with each new major disaster. So it seems, finally, that they have grudgingly relented on their publicly adversarial position toward the beneficial federal agency that is FEMA. But can we trust that this change isn’t anything more than a disingenuous bow to the winds of public opinion? Can we trust that Romney and Ryan won’t sabotage FEMA if elected and attempt to privatize it and other key programs, shifting more money to plutocrats while letting the poor and middle class bear all of the greatly increasing risk?

And what of the issue of climate change? Yes. The climate change that fueled this storm, made it worse, and helped to steer it in toward the East Coast? The climate change that has increased sea levels and is increasing them ever more rapidly? What of that? Is it still drill baby drill until the heartland is burned to a crisp and the coastal cities are all flooded? A recent statement from Businessweek, I believe, provides the appropriate response to Romney’s nonsense:

On Aug. 30, [Romney] belittled his opponent’s vow to arrest climate change, made during the 2008 presidential campaign. “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet,” Romney told the Republican National Convention in storm-tossed Tampa. “My promise is to help you and your family.” Two months later, in the wake of Sandy, submerged families in New Jersey and New York urgently needed some help dealing with that rising-ocean stuff.

I, for one, doubt that the cynical and misinformation spewing Romney/Ryan campaign has one genuine bone of non-token sympathy for FEMA or the disaster victims in their bodies. They have sought at every turn to pull out the underpinnings of supports for people in harm’s way and the national response systems that help Americans who find themselves in the face of disasters of all kinds. They haven’t sought to eliminate or reduce risks. To the contrary, their policies increase them.

This fact cannot be changed by a fake canned food drives for the Red Cross. Canned food the Red Cross has already said it doesn’t need. Nor can it be changed by, yet another, alteration in extreme policy positions. The Romney/Ryan campaign has been nothing if not snarlingly critical of any positive action, but totally lacking in any decent alternative. Instead, they promise to serve up another helping of policies that lead to the likes of Katrina and will likely lead to worse. And, in cases where their positions become unpopular, they simply lie and misinform.

Message to Romney — leadership is not conducting a disingenuous and completely unhelpful photo op. Leadership is actually doing something to help people. Leadership is effectively wielding a government empowered to help those people in harm’s way. Leadership is establishing a moral structure that enables and encourages people to help one another, not one that enables people to profit from harming one another. Leadership is what we are seeing in Obama and Christie’s response in New Jersey. Not from the gimmicks, half truths, lack of response, lack of transparency, media dodging, and tortured walk-backs we are seeing from you.

I don’t know if the Koch-fueled Romney campaign realizes the tenuous and vastly irresponsible positions it has backed itself into. I don’t know if that same Romney campaign realizes that it has set itself up for a terrible moral fall, far worse than Bush, should it be elected. The sins of hubris weigh heavily on Romney and we have gotten just a small taste of it this week. Woe betide America should this …man ever be elected President.

Links:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/election-2012/wp/2012/11/01/mitt-romney-responds-to-fema-question/

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-11-01/its-global-warming-stupid#p2

“Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” Romney Attacks GM in Final Days of Election; GM Defends Record From Romney Lies, Calls Them ‘Fantasy’

Before we get into the new morass of mud and muck dredged up by the Romney campaign and slung at the US auto industry, it’s important to establish a few facts. This effort is useful as the Romney campaign, with its almost daily distortions and flip-flops, has been the most fact-free bid for the Presidency of any election cycle in modern memory. Romney’s most recent smear campaign, waged against the US auto industry and, by extension, American workers, is just the newest in a daily stream of distortions, gimmicks, smears, and attempts to terrorize the US electorate.

First, in an op-ed to the New York Times entitled “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” Mitt Romney, in his opening sentence, stated:

IF General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.

Coming into office and facing the worst economic decline since the Great Depression left behind by the Bush Administration, President Obama decided to act to save over 2 million American jobs by directly supporting the auto industry bailout. Though far less expensive than the TARP program to bail out the US financial sector, the auto bailout provided much more direct support to the US middle class by ensuring that auto industry and supply chain jobs were not lost and that key US industries did not collapse. Conservatives of every stripe immediately howled that such government intervention would result in an US auto industry ‘doomsday.’ And Mitt Romney added his voice to those claiming US automakers would fail if they accepted government assistance during the worst of times.

As the years passed, Mitt Romney and conservatives have been proven drastically wrong. The US auto industry has recovered. GM is again the number 1 seller of automobiles in the world. And the industry is in the process of adding US jobs and repatriating jobs from overseas. This dramatic success belies republican and Romney drama to the contrary. It shows that the leadership role Obama took to save the US auto industry is now beginning to pay off. And, most glaringly, it shows the deep, systemic, failure of the current, rigid republican economic ideology.

Meanwhile, the corporation Romney built — Bain Capital — is now preparing to dismantle a factory that manufactures sensors for the auto industry in Freeport Illinois and ship their jobs overseas. Nearly 200 workers at the Sensata factory which Bain bought-out will find their jobs outsourced to China before the end of this year. This is a result of the outsourcing and off-shoring legacy that Romney pioneered while head of Bain Capital. (See more about Sensata here.)

This dual narrative of Obama’s leadership and success combined with Romney still profiting from liquidating US factories and sending the jobs overseas has had devastating effect for Romney in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan who know all too well how damaging outsourcing and off-shoring have been to their economies. Loss of critical factories like the one at Sensata has resulted in the gutting of entire communities. Whole neighborhoods in Detroit are now ghost towns as a result of the kind of outsourcing Mitt Romney pioneered at Bain Capital. Some of these lost jobs may never come back, captured by 99 cent an hour Chinese workers and a country that is unwilling to establish laws to protect its own people from the abuses of vulture capitalists like Romney. China may as well have foisted a sign emblazoned ‘Robber Barons R’ Us.’ And, Romney, among many others, came flocking to exploit the slave wage labor there by dismantling US factories and sending them overseas.

Perhaps too late, Romney has realized how damaging these methods of employing equities firms and off-shoring practices to accumulate personal profit have become. But the realization appears to have now stuck with a vengeance. And, in typical Romney fashion, Romney is now waging a media campaign against the very business Obama was so successful in saving and that, since late 2009, has directly added thousands of US jobs.

The Romney campaign is now running a malicious and false advertisement claiming that Jeep plans to ship US jobs overseas to China. The ad comes as Jeep revealed plans to build two manufacturing plants in China over the coming years. But, contrary to Romney’s false assertion, Jeep’s China expansion is not coming at the cost of any US manufacturing. Unlike Romney’s Sensata, no Jeep facilities are being shut down. No workers are being forced to train their Chinese replacements, as Romney’s Bain is forcing Sensata workers to do so. In fact, Jeep and GM have pledged to take profits from the Chinese operation and use it to create more jobs in the US. It’s almost the exact reverse of the Romney model. Call it in-sourcing, or re-sourcing, or repatriating, or even re-shoring. But it’s definitely not the Romney/Bain model for outsourcing and off-shoring.

Since late 2009, Jeep alone has added over 4600 US jobs, showing, in fact, that Romney’s claims are patently false.

GM was quick to defend its record from Romney’s false attacks:

“We’ve clearly entered some parallel universe during these last few days,” GM spokesman Greg Martin said. “No amount of campaign politics at its cynical worst will diminish our record of creating jobs in the U.S. and repatriating profits back to this country.”

Crysler CEO Sergio Marchionne in an email to employees refuted Romney’s claims by simply laying out the facts:

“Jeep production will not be moved from the United States to China,” Marchionne stated in the e-mail. “The numbers tell the story,” followed by specific investments Chrysler has made in Detroit, Toledo and Belvidere, Ill. “Those include more than $1.7 billion to produce the successor of the Jeep Liberty and hire about 1,100 workers on a second shift by 2013.”

The additional 1100 jobs are on top of the 4600 jobs Jeep has already added. In contrast, Romney’s Bain will, in the next couple months, send another 200 jobs to China. So the contrast couldn’t be more stark.

And the media is starting to pick up on Romney’s egregious assault of lies against the US auto industry and US workers. The Atlanta Journal Constitution recently called the Romney advertisements attacking the auto industry ‘economic terrorism.’ The Detroit Free Press has published this in-depth piece exposing Romney’s false claims. The conservative-leaning US News and World Report posted an analysis showing how the US auto expansion in China was helping to support jobs expansion at home. And FactCheck.org labeled Romney’s recent advertising blitz “flat wrong” stating:

“It’s misleading to suggest that Chrysler’s decision to expand into China will cost U.S. jobs — especially after the company has said it would have no impact on its U.S. operations.”

The fact-checking website noted a report from Bloomberg that Chrysler was considering “adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.” Meanwhile Chrysler, in a dramatic refutation of Romney’s doomsday prediction for the US auto industry, just reported a third quarter profit of $381 million, up 80 percent from a year ago.

It seems likely that the Romney misinformation machine may have just bitten off more than it can chew. Considering the wide-ranging backlash taking shape from both the US auto industry and the broader media, it appears that Romney’s false attacks against GM and Jeep are about to erupt in his face. The US auto industry is firmly on its path to recovery, with each new report showing positive results. Further, the US auto industry is in the process of adding thousands of jobs here in America. Both of these points prove Romney dramatically wrong. Wrong in his ‘Let Detroit go Bankrupt’ op-ed and wrong now. Finally, these attacks only serve to call attention to Romney’s own record of sending US jobs overseas, the most recent example of which is Sensata.

Links:

http://www.freep.com/article/20121031/NEWS15/310310091/GM-and-Chrysler-Romney-is-wrong

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/19/opinion/19romney.html?_r=0

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2012/10/31/gm-on-romney-campaign-politics-at-its-cynical-worst/

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/rick-newman/2012/10/31/memo-to-mitt-romney-gms-success-in-china-is-good-for-america

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-34222_162-57542993/gm-like-chrysler-refutes-romneys-auto-industry-ad/

http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/10/gm-aide-romney-ads-part-of-parallel-universe-147753.html

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/10/30/GM-Gap-between-Romney-ad-and-reality/UPI-56761351637557/

Think Your Vote Doesn’t Count? Remember, Just 537 People Decided the 2000 Election. GOTV!

Just 537 people decided the 2000 Presidential election. 537. Imagine what a huge difference those votes made. Image how different the world would now be if 537 more people had voted.

Climate change may have been addressed. The Great Recession may have never happened. Laissez faire, Enron may have all been avoided.

Your vote counts. Don’t let anyone or anything — not a TV station or a newspaper or a person you may know — let you believe otherwise.

Democracy is important. Precious. Perhaps, it is the thing that is most vital about America — the fact that we all have a voice. The greatest and least among us are all equal come election day.

So if you are one of the meek, the oppressed, the down-trodden. Lift your voices and be heard! If you are one of the hopeful, those who believe that a better future can be achieved when we work together. Lift your voices and be heard! If you are one of the concerned, one of those who can see what is happening to our climate, who is dismayed at one political party’s complete and utter denial of the problem. Lift your voices and be heard! And if you are one of those under threat of losing your rights — immigrant, woman, worker. Lift your voices and be heard!

This is your chance to shine. This is your chance to make history and decide the course of our still great nation.

VOTE!

Romney Economic Policy Risks Simultaneous Deficit Explosion, Double Dip Recession

Though it has been difficult to pin down Romney’s economic policies in the public arena, they remain readily available via his campaign website. And what Romney proposes creates severe risk of economic decline as bad or worse than that resulting from Bush’s failed economic policies.

His signature economic policy is what he terms as a ‘20% across the board’ tax cut. Digging into the numbers we find that families making over a million dollars per year gain an additional 175,000 dollars or more in income. In addition, according to Bloomberg, Romney’s policies result in far less benefit for the upper middle class (about 1500 dollars), almost no benefit for the middle class, and an actual increase in taxes for the lower middle class and poor.

As an economic stimulus measure, this policy is extraordinarily weak. It gives additional money to the wealthy who have a noted tendency to hoard wealth or to send it overseas. The result is that very little of this tax cut is likely to be spent increasing economic activity in the US economy and is much more likely to be sitting somewhere in a globalized blind trust. Since the benefits to the middle class are relatively small, any additional spending by reduced taxes will likely be off set by the destabilizing effect of expanding deficits.

And the total deficit expansion under such a cut is huge. About 5 trillion dollars over the course of ten years.

So Romney’s signature tax cut provides little overall benefit to the US economy while it creates an inevitable deficit expansion.

Romney’s second signature policy is to increase military spending by indexing it to 4% of GDP. This would elevate defense spending to 900 Billion dollars per year and result in a 2 trillion dollar increase to the federal deficit, further hampering the US’s long term economic outlook. And while such an increase in defense spending may be somewhat stimulative, it is no-where near as stimulative as direct spending by government on economic programs that have direct benefit to the economy. Programs such as research and development or seed funding like that which helped to double US alternative energy production under Obama proved far more effective at creating sustained American jobs and industries independent of government spending. The military, on the other hand, will always be dependent on government spending as it is a non self-supportive enterprise.

But the real risk comes from both Romney’s and the Republican party’s tendency to cut spending and incentive programs that benefit the middle class. As governor, Romney cut taxes while radically increasing fees and penalties. The net effect of this policy was to reduce taxes on the wealthy while increasing expenses for the middle and lower classes. Romney has hinted through his numerous ‘closing loopholes’ statement that such a shifting of the tax burden to middle class homeowners may well be in the works. Such a policy would have a negative overall effect on economic growth. In addition, both Romney and Ryan have show a tendency to push for reducing government programs that help the middle class. Ending funding to Planned Parenthood would have a severe negative economic consequence for many women. Cutting social services funding would harm many working Americans. Cutting, voucherizing, or block granting Medicare would harm middle class families. Cutting food stamps would harm the already poor, especially the working poor, many of who live in red states. Cutting government overall would remove access to a pool of good-paying jobs. Lowering or abolishing the minimum wage would harm household income. Continuing to enable tax incentives for shipping jobs overseas would harm the middle class. Abolishing Obamacare would do severe harm to many American families by drastically increasing both their medical expenses and their risk of medical bankruptcy.

Enacting any or all of these ideologically driven programs would have a net negative stimulus effect on the US economy and the risk is that even as irresponsible Romney fiscal policy explodes the deficit, ideologically driven ‘anti-government’ policies targeting programs that help the middle class would result in both poor and middle class families spending less and deflating the US economy. The result would be a combined deficit explosion and double dip recession that could lead to Depression. A potential Romney depression to follow the Bush great recession.

That’s the risk of returning to trickle down, voodoo economics. Something we can avoid by re-electing the President who got us out of Bush’s mess in the first place.

Links:

http://www.economist.com/economist-asks/are-mitt-romneys-economic-policies-right-america

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/simon-jackman/house-effects-by-back-by-_b_2007907.html?utm_hp_ref=@pollster

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/paul-krugman-mitt-romney-recession_n_2008847.html?ref=topbar

Will W. Romney, P. Ryan Remove Women’s Reproductive Rights if Elected?

Major news media seems to have been utterly hypnotized by W. Romney’s endless vacillations and changed policy positions. But taking a step back from the enormous cloud of smoke currently being produced by the Romney campaign, we can look at clear signals via both his chosen staff and his past preferences to see which way key policy choices are likely to go.

The first, and most critical, issue is women’s reproductive rights. As a haven for leaders who are willing to let their religious beliefs transfer to laws governing women’s bodies, the US has had a very rocky history of women’s rights. Key reproductive freedoms like access to birth control and family planning services were only won during a brief period of renaissance during the 1960s and 1970s. The establishment of an abortion freedom via the Roe v. Wade decision put the capstone on women’s reproductive freedom in America and ushered in a world-wide age of expanded rights for women around the globe.

Even as these new freedoms were put in place, though, enemies of women’s rights gathered in a generations-long attempt to return America to the dark days of back alley abortions and to a time when certain forms of contraception were illegal. This backlash gained steam during the 1980s and continues to this day in the form of, likely, four conservative Supreme Court justices who are ideologically disposed to overturning Roe v. Wade. It also includes a massive influx of legislators who have fought vehemently in Congress to curtail women’s access to birth control, family planning, key health services, and to overturn abortion rights in even the most damaging and harmful cases.

In total, Republicans in the 112th Congress have voted 55 times to curtail women’s rights. This includes 17 votes to allow health insurance providers to discriminate against women, 11 votes to cut women’s access to preventive care (breast screenings etc), 10 votes to restrict access to abortion or roll back abortion rights, 7 votes to cut funding for women’s nutrition, 3 votes to block access to reproductive and maternal care services, 3 votes to undermine Medicare and Medicaid services to women, and 14 votes that undermine environmental laws protecting pregnant women from toxic substances (Source).

It is also worth noting that President Obama has indicated he will never acquiesce to the extreme anti-woman tendencies of the right wing and has threatened vetoes on any such legislation that crosses his desk.

These Republican anti-woman votes accounted for about 5% of all time spent by the 112th Congress. Among the leaders of this legislative war on women was none other than Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan. Ryan voted yes on almost every anti-woman bill submitted and has pushed for legislation making it illegal to perform an abortion even in cases of rape or incest. Ryan also pushed for a personhood bill that would make abortion even in the event of saving the mother’s life illegal. Ryan’s anti-woman votes parallel those of extremists Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock who have both said that even in cases of rape abortion should be illegal. Mourdock was recently quoted as saying that ‘God intended rape pregnancies’ (Source).

Riding in on this wave of Republican anti-women sentiment is Mitt Romney. Romney claimed as recently as a month ago that he would support legislation overturning Roe v. Wade. And his choice of running mate, Paul Ryan, is among the most anti-woman of a very anti-woman Republican House. Romney earlier noted that he would also overturn the Fair Pay Act. His campaign seems to sense a growing outrage among women and, so, over the past few weeks the Romney campaign has obfuscated past extreme anti-woman positions, attempting to appear kinder and gentler to women. But this is merely the desperate smoke screen of a candidate in jeopardy of losing and seeking to pander to all voters in hopes of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat (Source).

As we saw with Bush, promises of compassion made on the campaign trail have been about as valuable as a bucket of spit. And Romney, who has shown us only the endlessly changing face of a doppelganger, is certainly far from worthy of engendering trust.

In the case of a Romney election, there would be a very high risk that many women’s freedoms would be overturned. Romney-appointed justices would almost certainly be anti-abortion. Further, Romney would likely work with Republicans in Congress to continue to draft and expand anti-women legislation. A long march back to the days where women were treated as objects and property would have begun and much of the hard work of the brave American women of generations past is in dire danger of being removed should Romney be elected. Romney’s assurances to the contrary are merely empty words — a half-hearted and unclear pledge which holds no honor. To stake women’s future on such false promises and to ignore the Republican legacy of an endless war on women would be the very epitome of folly.

Links:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/11/paul-ryan-personhood_n_1767760.html

Take Action:

http://www.barackobama.com/splash/choice-signup?

Huffington Post Serves as Proxy for Former Romney Adviser and CEO Steve Lombardo

In the world of today’s media you have liberal sources, conservative sources, somewhat unbiased sources that are still mostly owned by large media corporations (and therefore beholden to corporate special interests), and then you have just outright strange sources.

One such location is the Huffington Post where you can find a plethora of primarily ‘liberal’ views, a smattering of corporate slant pieces, a few features that seem to make fun of liberals lighting their hair on fire or even encouraging them to do so, and, now and again, something like this.

If you follow the link, what you will find is a typical spin piece of the kind you would find on Fox News or any other major conservative media outlet. The article attempts to deflate any enthusiasm for Obama that may have appeared from last night’s debate win and create a sense that a Romney victory is inevitable.

Given the message, the article would be immediately suspect. However, once you consider the source, it becomes clear that the article is laughably biased. First, Steve Lombardo is a the CEO of a major Washington PR firm. As a CEO, he’s already part of a group that traditionally leans conservative and would usually draw suspicion of bias. However, Lombardo was also a major campaign adviser for Romney during his Presidential run back in 2008. And now, we find Lombardo out spinning for Romney on a supposedly liberal media site.

This behavior by Huffington Post makes it highly suspect that it is, actually, what it claims or appears to be. Liberal media would never host former or current Romney spin doctors to post. And the conservative drift, especially during the election, seen on the Huffington Post and other major news sites (Yahoo, etc) has become extraordinarily concerning. This sort of drift happened at Fox News launch about 20 years ago when it attempted to bill itself as ‘moderate’ and ‘balanced.’  Rush Limbaugh also attempted to appear moderate at first couching conservatism in a load of ‘warm and fuzzy’ language reassuring ‘liberals’ that major social programs weren’t the target of conservatives who only wanted ‘sound fiscal policy’ and ‘a strong national defense.’

Now both Rush and Fox are so rabidly conservative that they regularly assault all tenets of social equality, women’s rights, safety nets for seniors and the disenfranchised even as they pursue economic policies that will lead to fiscal disintegration and a war footing which looks for enemies to create rather than aims to defend this country as a whole. What seems to have happened is that increasing corporate control of the media has resulted in the purveying and dissemination of an increasingly extreme and destructive conservative agenda. Rupert Murdoch is a prime example. But even Mitt Romney reaches his investment tentacles into huge media outlets to exert influence.

Returning to the Huffington Post, we find conservative spin on what is supposed to be a liberal media site. The purveyor of that spin is a right-wing CEO with ties to Mitt Romney. So Huffington Post rises onto the radar screen as insincerely liberal and instead serves simply to gather liberals into a kind of shooting gallery of liberals where the likes of Lumbardo can pick them off at leisure. Sad fact. But that’s what we get for giving corporations too much power to manipulate and control media.

Salt Lake Tribune Labels Mitt Romney a ‘Shape-Shifter,’ Calls Mitt’s Character into Question

In its damning criticism of Mitt Romney, the Salt Lake Tribune article entitled Too Many Mitts based its endorsement of President Obama on the numerous instances where Mitt Romney has demonstrated himself to be an inconsistent, unreliable, untrustworthy, self-contradictory politician willing to say or do anything to be elected.

“As the party’s shape-shifting nominee,” the Tribune says, “Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: ‘Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?’ ”

Conversely the Tribune praised Obama as a “a competent leader who, against tough odds, has guided the country through catastrophe and set a course that, while rocky, is pointing toward a brighter day.”

The Tribune’s criticisms of Mitt for being a ‘shape shifter’ couples well with Mitt’s own record, a video sample of which is produced here. It also adds to the GOP’s own criticism of Mitt in which every major GOP primary contender accused Mitt of being a liar. Newt Gingrich when openly asked if he believed Romney was a liar on CBS’s morning show plainly stated ‘yes.’

What is, perhaps, more telling is that the major newspaper for a State primarily made up of Mormons would heap such damning criticism on one of their own. Perhaps the notion of Romney’s consistent and obvious instances of ‘bearing false witness’ was too much to bear. Or, perhaps, the far more moderate Mormon — Harry Reid — provides a better example of constancy and leadership than Mitt who often comes off as equal parts grasping, pandering, and elitist. It’s certainly an inelegant combination of traits and one not well disposed to effectively engaging the office of US President.

Open Climate Question For Next Presidential Debate: How Will You Deal With What NASA Scientists Are Calling a Global Climate Emergency?

This year, James Hansen, head of NASA’s GISS division warned that the world is experiencing a global climate emergency. Around the world, scientists are making increasingly dire warnings about what is happening to our climate. Links between extreme weather and our production of greenhouse gasses have been firmly established. The human driven heating is causing the Arctic sea ice to disappear, perhaps in as soon as a few years. The US has just experienced 12 years of extraordinarily dry conditions and a year of record drought. And the world is teetering on the edge of a climate-change driven food crisis.

Yet this year’s Presidential debates have been stunningly silent on the issue of climate change. In our politics, denial of the events occurring just outside are becoming increasingly loud and shrill. And millions and millions of dollars in oil, gas, and coal campaign contributions are enforcing an unprecedented silence on an issue of growing emergency and immediacy even as they encourage an increased exploitation of the very fuels that are causing our climate nightmare.

Within 10-20 years it is possible that the American grain belt will be well on its way to becoming a desert. Within 10 years, it is likely that the Arctic sea ice will be gone and a very intense period of ice melt will begin for Greenland, greatly accelerating the rate of sea level rise. Within 30 years, it is likely that the world’s oceans will be highly acidic, less likely to produce food for humans, and almost entirely devoid of corals. By the end of this century, it is likely that much of the world will be rendered a wasteland by 1000 ppm CO2. All this if we continue down the path of unmitigated extraction and burning of fossil fuels.

So it is for this reason that I’m submitting a simple, direct question for the prospective leader of the United States for the next four years in the upcoming Presidential Debate:

Please address the issue of what climate scientists have identified as an ongoing, climate change induced US drought and growing prospects for world hunger. Please address the issue of shrinking Arctic sea ice, more than 50% smaller than in the 1980s, record Greenland ice melt, and what appears to be increasing risk of rapid ocean rise. Please explain how you will avoid a devastating rise to 1000 ppm CO2 by the end of this century. Please address how you will deal with what NASA scientists are calling a global climate emergency.

If you agree with this question, please feel free to either copy, paste, and re-post it or to link, share, or re-tweet this blog. If you would like to ask an open climate question of your own, please do so on any social network of your choosing. The idea is to spread the word in the best way possible. So please participate in some way! Please let your voice be heard!

This is a question we are all currently involved in answering. And if we stay silent, then the answer is we will do nothing and the worst events are almost certain to occur. But if we speak up. If we make our voices heard, they still have a chance to make a difference. To stop the worst impacts of a climate change nightmare caused by our ever-increasing burning of fossil fuels.

Please also take part by signing this Change.org Petition for a Presidential debate question on climate change:

http://www.change.org/petitions/ask-about-climate-change-at-the-presidential-debates

Best to you all! And please don’t forget to lift your voices and BE HEARD!

Oily Spectre of Climate Silence Casts Long Shadow Over American Politics

For more than a century, the fossil fuels industry has exerted extraordinary influence over American politics. This has been true since the boom days of Standard Oil and continues today. At first, this influence was only destructive in that it created a privileged, monopolistic status for a single, albeit important, industry. Yet, today, the destructive nature of oil, gas and coal special interest influence over American politics is coming home to roost.

This year saw three major events that made seriously addressing the problem of human-caused of global warming mandatory to America’s future prosperity. The first was the revelation by a growing number of climate scientists that extreme weather, increasing in frequency and severity since  the 1980s, was directly linked to human-caused global warming. This revelation came during a year when the US experienced its most extreme weather ever recorded, its hottest year ever recorded and its most damaging fire season ever recorded. The second event, linked to the first, was a massive and ongoing drought, the worst in 55 years, that halted Mississippi river traffic, devastated the US corn crop, and now threatens US winter wheat. The current drought came at a time when the US West is experiencing its fifth driest period in 500 years and on the heels of a devastating drought just last year in Texas and Oklahoma. Scientists also linked the current drought to global warming — showing in climate models how drought grows worse and worse as human caused global warming intensifies.

But the third and probably most important event was, likely, one that most Americans ignored. This year, Arctic sea ice area fell to its lowest level ever recorded and is, according to many scientists, within a decade of melting out entirely.

These three events sent a climate shock-wave around the world causing NASA scientist James Hansen to state that we are experiencing a ‘global climate emergency.’ It is an emergency that risks violent and freakish events. It is a crisis that will almost certainly lead to the devastation of US agriculture, long term. And it is a crisis in which rising sea levels are more and more certain as the years advance.

Yet both the cause of this crisis — our incessant burning of fossil fuels — and its solutions — reducing and eliminating fossil fuel consumption — as well as the crisis itself remain largely off the political radar. Even worse, in a horrific display of ignorance and pandering to fossil fuel special interests, Mitt Romney proudly proclaimed he doesn’t believe in human caused global warming. Given the insurmountable pile of scientific evidence, he may as well have proclaimed he doesn’t believe in gravity.

But the actions of President Obama have also been far from comforting. Just this week at the Presidential debate Obama got into a rhetorical pissing contest with Romney over whether or not he had increased drilling. And though Obama was correct to assert that drilling had increased under his watch, contesting with Romney over who promotes drilling the most sends a very bad signal at a time when US fossil fuel use needs to start scaling back if we are to prevent a decades-long agricultural catastrophe that would make the Dust Bowl years seem but a prelude.

It is important to note that Obama does vigorously support solutions to the climate crisis. That he has developed wind, solar, electric vehicles and biofuels more than any other president in modern memory. He pushed CAFE standards to 55 mpg, a level Romney has vowed to repeal. Renewable energy production has doubled under Obama’s watch and US carbon emissions are beginning to decline.In addition, largely thanks to Obama’s policies, US energy independence is within reach for the first time in two generations.

In policy, he is decidedly not in the oil, gas and coal companies’ pockets. And for this reason alone, it appears that most of these companies are fighting tooth and nail to make certain Obama is not re-elected. A dirty ‘energy vote’ website and campaign has been started and oil companies are both implicitly and explicitly campaigning for a Romney Administration entirely willing to deny global warming reality in support of more oil, gas, and coal exploitation even as he cuts wind, solar, EVs and efficiencies. Millions and millions of dollars in campaign donations and in SuperPAC advertisements just keep flooding in. Furthermore, a constant stream of misinforming advertisements appears on public TV stations and the internet in a bid by oil, gas, and coal companies to keep the public misinformed.

Perhaps the only corollary to this type of public misinformation campaign is what occurred with cigarettes back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. As scientific evidence mounted showing tobacco products resulted in a drastically elevated risk of lung cancer, cigarette corporations funded advertisements to re-brand themselves, to misinform the public of health risks, and to prevent any government action to inform the public of risks or to curtail smoking in public places where second-hand smoke could harm non-smokers. Eventually the public interest won out. But it took massive and ongoing efforts to surmount the resistance put up by cigarette manufacturers.

But the damage caused by an unrelenting use of fossil fuels will be far, far more harmful than that caused by cigarettes, should oil, gas, and coal special interests continue to dominate both the political debate, the public media sphere and, most importantly, the energy policy creation process. And it is important to note that the power of these fossil fuel corporations is much, much greater than that of the cigarette companies who preceded them. The companies operate on a global scale and many have revenue streams larger than entire nations. We would have to go back to the slave trade, which was a primary contributor to the first US civil war, to find an industry with such wide-ranging political power and influence.

So it should not be a surprise that the American political system, which has been removed of all protection to special interest influence by the extremist conservatives of the Supreme Court in The Citizen’s United decision, is wracked and distorted by fossil fuel special interest money. So we should be more deeply concerned that so heavy a pall of silence over the ongoing harm caused by human global warming has settled upon Washington and casts such a long shadow on the current US election. It is the reason we find Obama forced to contest a political opponent junked up on fossil fuel campaign money in the darkness and in the quiet over an issue so important to both US and world prospects.

Many have blamed the Obama campaign for not speaking out. But this blame is misplaced. The people we should blame are the oil, gas, and coal companies who have poisoned the discourse, who have funded climate change denial at every level, and who are, at every level, trying to gag politicians and prevent them from speaking out on the most important issue of the 21rst century. They are the cause of the current crisis. They are the ones deliberately altering our politics in a blatant attempt to prevent responsible action. And they are the ones forcing this terrible code of silence upon US media and politics even as they attempt to turn the candidates into puppets for their interests.

Mitt Romney to CEOs, Business Owners: Tell Employees How to Vote

(David Siegel, above, told employees to vote for Romney or be at risk of losing their job)

According to recent news reports in the Huffington Post, Mitt Romney in a June conference call to the right-leaning National Federation of Independent Business told CEOs to tell their employees which Presidential Candidate to vote for. And in a separate telephone town hall with small business owners Romney urged the owners to relay their thoughts on to employees after demagoguing Obama for having an “anti-business” agenda (In These Times).

“I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections,” Romney said.

Boiled down, what Romney is essentially saying is ‘tell your employees to vote for me, otherwise they will lose their job.’

Such activity used to be illegal in the United States and was outlawed after numerous Robber Baron CEOs and company owners used various means to intimidate employees to vote for particular candidates. But, in the 80s, these laws were eroded both by non-enforcement and by numerous conservative judges of anti-union, anti-worker sentiment. The result was that by the 90s many companies were actively involved in mining their employees as a political base to push their agenda in Washington and to elect candidates whom the company board of directors considered favorable to short-term profits.

Voter intimidation, however, didn’t fully return until the Citizen’s United ruling greatly expanded employers rights to bully employees. And, as a result, companies from Bank of America to Koch Industries to Westgate Resorts are issuing letters to employees, threatening their jobs if Obama is elected.

“If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, as our current President plans, I will have no choice but to reduce the size of this company,” Siegel, CEO of Westgate (self-styled king shown above) said in a letter telling his workers to vote for Romney. Author Allen, CEO (and petty dictator) of ASG Software in a letter to employees stated “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th … I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”

Ironically, these ridiculous statements come as companies are seeing large growth in profits after Obama’s economic recovery again led the businesses forward. Westgate, in particular, has been very profitable and, despite increased revenues has done little to expand employee roles or increase employee compensation. So most of the profit is going to Siegel himself. Of his employees Siegel stated: “They’re my children and I’m like their Jewish Mother.”

DeVries, Former Advisor to Mitt Romney’s Father Says: Mitt Sees “Voters as Targets to Be Manipulated.”

In public service, there are few things as damning as ‘ends justify the means’ thinking. During the rise and fall of the Soviet Union, ‘ends justify the means’ political philosophy and doctrine created ‘rationale’ for all sorts of terrible practices and activities. By contrast, US political leaders have long been admired for sometimes accepting a degree of political damage for standing on principle. For rejecting the essential immorality of ‘ends justify the means.’

In one obvious case of honor over politics, John McCain corrected a woman who wrongly labeled Obama a ‘Muslim.’ In another, McCain attempted to reduce the kinds of ugly political advertising we’ve seen this campaign by supporting a campaign finance reform law on a bipartisan basis. An effort that was, ironically, largely overturned by the Citizen’s United Decision of the Supreme Court. In yet another, Obama hung the political capital of his entire presidency on an effort to make medical care more affordable, to expand access, and in doing so, took on some seriously powerful special interests who, to this day, have fought to demonize him.

Political integrity and avoidance of ‘ends justify the means’ thinking is a virtue in American politics that has, historically, manifest on both sides of the isle. And it is this virtue that former adviser to George Romney, Walt DeVries, so admired in the leader and public servant he worked with for 7 years.

In fact, it would be difficult not to admire the work of Romney’s father. George labored to build an American company that provided good paying jobs for regular Americans, that contributed to the American economy, and that provided a valuable product. George was in the business of making things. And in his transition to public service, George Romney also stood on principle, holding consistent positions — whether they were popular or not. In particular, George Romney campaigned for an income tax in Michigan, a political position that would, almost certainly, eject him from the republican party today.

This is in direct contrast to Mitt, who has profited from work, not done in America, not creating items of value for Americans, and not sustaining or creating good, well-paying jobs, but from reducing the wages of American workers and in shipping high-value American industries, like Sensata, to foreign shores where sweat-shop workers are paid only a pittance. This is in direct contrast to Mitt who asks for the wealthy to pay less in taxes and for the poor and middle class to bear a greater burden. And this is in direct contrast to the Mitt Romney who has run a political campaign that has contradicted itself, almost daily, on every issue.

According to DeVries:

Mitt Romney and the people around him see campaigns as television marketing and voters as targets to be manipulated. Voters, they believe, make up their minds late and will be swayed with saturation television advertising. The campaign managers seek — daily it seems — for a magic bullet to force on the electorate that will move undecided and weak voters to Romney. Policy papers, positions are rare and short on content and meaning.

I’ve tried to track Mitt Romney’s shifts — some 180 degrees others 360 — on key issues during the campaign. I’ve stopped at 30: abortion, stem-cell research; climate change and global warming; campaign finance; and equal pay for women are just a few.

This is damning critique from a former adviser to George Romney, who held the man in such high opinion for his ability to stand on principle and for the integrity of his character. And it shines a glaring light of contrast on Mitt’s own deep lack of integrity. His willingness to say or do anything that is, first and foremost, self-serving.

In business activity, such behavior is harmful enough. But when a person elected to public office acts in so self-serving a fashion, the effect can be devastating. In place after place around the world we have seen the dramatic failure of ‘ends justify the means’ thinking — in both business and government. ‘Ends justify the means’ results in systems that are not sustainable long-term. It is predatory and by virtue of its nature creates enemies. Though its initial grasping may result in success short-term, it plants the seeds for a dramatic long-term failure. We who have witnessed the tragedies — both in life and in the Greek epics — know this. Hubris, which is chained to ‘ends justify the means’ like a drowning man to a lead weight, is bound for a plunge.

The rise and fall of America may well be characterized in the contrast of these two men — father to son. One who stood on principle, the other enslaved by ‘ends justify the means.’ Providence grant we are spared a Romney Presidency and the risk of witnessing just such a precipitous fall from grace.

Links:

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/romney-is-attacked-by-his-fathers-longtime-aide/

http://www.salon.com/2012/10/16/longtime_george_romney_aide_attacks_mitt/singleton/

Betrayed Workers, Sensata, and Taking Down The American Flag: Mitt Romney’s Legacy of Shipping US Jobs to China

On November 5th, Bain Capital, the Company Mitt Romney founded, will ship 170 US jobs to China. On November 6th, Mitt Romney will ask to be your President.

Sensata technologies manufactured sensors for US automobiles, ships, electronics, appliances and aircraft. It was an inheritor of the intellectual capital of Honeywell, a set of knowledge and trade secrets that was a pivotal component of the US defense industry and critical to US national security. They served a broad range of customers from GM to the US military. The company helped to support a vital economy in Freeport Illinois. That was all before Bain Capital got a 51% stake in Sensata and began doing the terrible work of sending the company, its intellectual property and, most importantly, its jobs to China.

The first phase of this transfer of US jobs, intellectual and economic capital to China involved training Chinese workers and a transfer of the trade secrets of a US company to Chinese shores. Sensata employees were forced by Bain to train Chinese workers at the American facility. And when Chinese workers came, the company Mitt Romney founded forced Sensata to lower the American flag. So, for a time, American workers labored under a de-flagged US company to hand over jobs and US trade secrets related to national security to the Chinese even as this activity created big profits for Bain company executives and major share holders.

It is important to note that the loss of these jobs from US shores doesn’t help the impoverished Chinese workers who are forced by China and by companies like Bain to work in terrible sweat-shop conditions at low wages and at little hope for economic advancement. So what Bain’s transfer of Sensata jobs to China represents is the favoring of building slave wage overseas jobs in pursuit of short-term profits over US middle class jobs, building the American dream, and long-term prosperity at home.

The second phase of Bain’s activity at Sensata will wrap up on November 5th, the day before the US Presidential election, when Sensata’s 170 workers are fired and the transfer of US jobs from this vital US industry to China is complete.

More than anything else, this is Mitt Romney’s legacy. He founded Bain Capital. He pioneered its outsourcing and shipping US jobs overseas for profit practices in the 1980s and 1990s. He developed that model for liquidating US jobs and replacing them with low-wage work overseas which so many of the greedy in this country have used for their own enrichment. So, sadly, Sensata is but the most recent of scores and scores of US companies whose jobs were sent to China as Bain profited. And today, as a major share-holder of Bain Capital, holding more than 8 million dollars in company stocks, Romney still profits from the terrible practices he put in place when he sat at Bain’s helm.

These facts weren’t lost on Sensata’s workers who organized a petition with 35,000 signatures pleading with Mitt Romney not to ship their jobs to China. Thus far, all they’ve earned is silence.

Yet Mitt Romney is asking Americans for a favor on November 6th. He’s asking us to trust him. He’s asking us to ignore the Americans who worked at Sensata and so many other US companies whose jobs and intellectual capital were sent to China. He’s asking us to believe he holds Americans’ best interests at heart, despite making large profits from shipping US jobs to China and keeping that money in a secret Cayman Islands bank account in order to dodge paying US taxes and support the American public interest. He’s asking us to believe he is a patriotic American even though it is the practice of the company he founded to lower the US flag on American workers who are forced to labor to train their Chinese replacements.

How can we trust a man who built his legacy on a foundation of harm to Americans? How can we trust a man who, even now, ignores the plight of the workers the company he founded continues to victimize, continues to push onto US government assistance roles and remove their hopes of economic independence? And how can we trust a man who has, throughout his entire career in business favored China over America and personal profits over the best interests of the American people?

Links:

http://www.rrstar.com/news/x887150325/Sensata-workers-go-Bainport-to-protest-Freeport-outsourcing

http://tucsoncitizen.com/baja-democrats/2012/10/14/the-romney-economy/

Mitt Romney — If You Care About Americans, Then Why Are You Still Profiting From Shipping Jobs to China?

Remember all the hullabaloo earlier this year over the company Mitt Romney founded — Bain Capital? Remember all the news reports, blogs, and personal testimonials about people who lost their jobs after Bain bought out companies, drove them to bankruptcy by taking out debt and paying themselves via checks, and then shipped jobs overseas to places like China where workers were forced to work for less than a dollar an hour in sweat-shop conditions? Remember how Bain was exposed for pioneering the model for sending the jobs of US workers to places like China and profiting from it? Remember how many other companies in the US then duplicated this model, in essence, creating a massive industry entirely dedicated to devastating America’s middle class jobs?

Well, it’s still happening. Bain is still shipping US jobs to China and Romney is still making money from Bain’s actions. Money that will likely end up in Romney’s foreign tax shelter so he can avoid contributing to the very US government whose helm he is now exerting every effort to attain.

In Freeport Illinois today, over 170 employees of Sensata Technologies are now at imminent risk of losing their jobs. The reason? Bain capital recently gained a controlling stake in Sensata and is now planning to outsource the 170 middle class jobs at Sensata to China. Workers may now have only days before they lose their jobs.

Sensata is a high-tech industry. It produces sensors used in ships, aircraft, automobiles, appliances and other electronics. It supports the supply chain of Ford and GM, both vital US industries. It is an example of a high-value industry that supports well paying jobs and helps to build vital communities around the US. Hundreds of families rely on the wages generated via Sensata’s virtuous cycle of innovation and production. In essence, making things. Many more jobs are also supported via the indirect impacts of this vital industry operating in America.

In addition, Sensata is a corporation that provides a critical service to the US military. It designs sensors that are used on military platforms and, as such, provides a vital and sensitive national-security related service.

As you have probably already surmised, shipping Sensata’s jobs to China is not just a devastating blow to 170 American families. Not only is it a devastating blow to Freeport, who will lose one of its vital industries. It is a blow to US national security to ship a critical feed-in to the US military manufacturing chain to China. It, in essence, knocks a chink in America’s armor.

It is, therefore, somewhat ironic to note that Bain has required Sensata employees to train Chinese workers to produce the equipment and sensors that Sensata designed. This process can be seen as a transfer of intellectual property related to a national security interest directly to China. In addition, and perhaps more disturbing, is the fact that Bain has required the company to lower the American flag for as long as a week while Bain employees were operating on Sensata grounds. No explanation was made for this rather alarming and disturbing practice. And it begs the question — what does Bain have against the American flag and the American nationality itself?

After bearing insult after insult to livelihood, to prospects, to happiness, and to that vital link with the shining value of Americanism and of the hopes she represents — life, liberty, equality — the workers of Sensata broke. They decided to take action.

In a brave show of rebellion against the oppressive and unAmerican outsourcing practices of Bain Capital, Sensata workers have organized a rally against Bain’s heinous activities. They’ve established Bainport — an ongoing protest against Bain’s outsourcing activity. And they will stage a rally there at 3 PM tomorrow to draw attention to a company Mitt Romney founded and that is the very legacy of his career in business. Workers from such companies as French Sampsonite have joined with Sensata workers and will vent their outrage for Bain’s unjust practices tomorrow. Julian Bond, former chair of the NAACP has also joined with Sensata workers in solidarity.

According to reports from the Rock River Times, a local newspaper, the employees of Sensata have gathered over 35,000 signatures for a letter to Mitt Romney, pleading for intervention in a destructive process that threatens so much that is vital to Freeport. The paper noted:

In July, the Freeport City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on Romney to meet the workers and use his influence at Bain to intervene on their behalf. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) echoed their call during a trip to Freeport later that month. The situation has even become an issue in the congressional race in Illinois’ 17th district.

So the question comes to Mitt Romney. Why? Why do you keep hurting the American people? Why do you risk American security by shipping vital technology jobs to China? Why have you sought and earned so much profit from so much harm? And why, if you care about Americans, if you really care as much as you have said on the campaign trail over the past two weeks, why are you allowing the destructive processes you pioneered to continue?

If you, Mitt Romney, really do disavow your heinous and disrespectful remarks about 47% of Americans, if you really do feel sorry, then why not use your clout to stop this harm? Though you are not currently the CEO of Bain, you are certainly a major share holder with rights to the company proper. If you so chose, you could use your clout as founder. You could stop the system of harm that you designed from continuing its awful work.

And what do you, Americans, think of someone running for President who has profitted so much from the liquidation of the American worker? Who continues to profit from their liquidation? Is this man patriot enough to be President? And could he be trusted to use that Presidential power in the interest of the people of America?

The real Americans his business practices have hurt so much.

Links:

http://rockrivertimes.com/2012/10/12/french-samsonite-employees-laid-off-by-bain-join-sensata-workers-at-%E2%80%98bainport%E2%80%99-oct-13/

http://www.sensata.com/

http://www.journalstandard.com/news/x887150434/Sensata-workers-go-Bainport-to-protest-Freeport-outsourcing

The Debate Joe Biden Won With A Smile

Last night, the Tea Partier who tried to turn Medicare into a voucher program was served up an enormous helping of just desserts by Vice President Joe Biden. Biden came out swinging and never let up until it seemed a disoriented Ryan had simply given up, resorting, half-heartedly, to chugging water and spewing memorized lines.

From the get-go, Biden dealt with Ryan with total candor, directly answering questions and providing evidence and assertions even as he held Ryan accountable for his own mangling of the facts. When Ryan rolled out the false claims that Obama had dropped the ball in Benghazi, Biden pinned Ryan to the mat by showing how republicans had cut diplomatic security funding just before the attacks. When Ryan tried to run away from his record of attempting to voucherize Medicare and force seniors to pay another 6400 dollars per year in medical expenses, Biden practically tattooed the word ‘voucher’ onto Ryan’s head. And when Ryan tried to claim that his 5 trillion, 20% across the board, tax cut would be paid for without increasing the debt or hurting the middle class, Biden kept backing Ryan into a corner in which Ryan couldn’t explain his claims for lack of facts or evidence.

Finally, a beleaguered Ryan found himself lost in the valleys of Afghanistan, falsely claiming we had 28,000 troops there when the actual number is over 60,000.

The best touch in Biden’s entirely masterful debate last night, however, was how Biden dealt with Ryan every time he made a false claim. Ryan — ‘this is the unraveling of Obama foreign policy.’ Biden — smile. Ryan — ‘we don’t voucherize Medicare.’ Biden — smile. Ryan — ‘we don’t cut taxes by 5 trillion dollars.’ Biden — smile.

And it was through this smile that Biden projected his thoughts. ‘This kid if full of baloney,’ his smile seemed to say. We knew that Biden was showing us, through the grace of his American eagle-like countenance, that the kid was clearly making stuff up.

Not that Biden didn’t call Ryan out. Quite to the contrary, he aggressively went after what he termed as ‘malarkey’ coming from Ryan at every opportunity. Biden’s action to defend truth made his smile all the more effective. Because the words he used to back it up set in clear relief the debate field even as it lit bright sparks in the minds of the American people.

And it is this entirely right and good fighting to expose the truth that has elicited so many howls from republicans who probably expected, instead, that Biden would roll over and allow the wealthy to feast on the middle class once again without putting up a fight. That Biden would just, stand aside, as the ideological right rolled back into the White House and reasserted its war on science. That Biden would lay down before a Mitt Romney who promises to bring back George Bush’s torture policy, republican deregulation of Wall Street, and a George Bush 2.0 tax cut to boot.

Not that guy from Scranton. Hell no. That guy hit Ryan like a fireball from the heavens above. And, this time, it was Ryan trying to pretend his hair wasn’t on fire.

And, I have to tell you, for me it was refreshing. Refreshing to hear someone stand up and fight for the middle class. To hear someone take on what are nothing more than a series of blatant untruths put out by republicans year after year, month after month, day after day. An endless mangling of the truth that is so harmful both to the United States, to our country’s economic integrity, to our future, and to the electoral process itself.

And most regular Americans seemed to agree. One blogger described the shouts and howls of joy he could hear across his neighborhood as Biden delivered powerful counter after powerful counter to Ryan’s false assertions.

And this response seemed to bear out in many post-debate polls which showed Biden as a strong winner. A CBS poll of undecideds showed Biden with a 19 point lead. ABC 6 showed Biden creaming Ryan in a 60-38 domination of a poll of the broader electorate. CNBC, a haven of many who are misinformed daily by the likes of Tea Partier Rick Santelli, showed Biden edging out Ryan 48 to 47. Perhaps the only poll of the night which showed Ryan ahead was a dubious CNN poll which, according to poll data, was heavily weighted with republicans and independents. But even this skewed poll showed Biden trailing by a hair — within the poll’s margin of error.

And from a survey of the internet following the debate it is clear that republicans are in full damage control mode. No clearer an indication that they have lost can be expressed than their attempts to label Joe Biden ‘rude.’ That he smiled too much during the debate. And this, as Romney said in an interview this morning, was ‘disrespectful.’

I couldn’t disagree more.

The rudeness and disrespect came from Ryan who thought he could get away with lying to the American people. Lying about Benghazi, lying about his Bush 2.0 tax cut, lying about alternative energy and Solyndra, and lying about his record on Medicare. Lying about his and Romney’s blatant, rude, and entirely disrespectful 30% and 47% remarks. And providing completely anti-factual information on Afghanistan. Biden was right to interrupt and to call Ryan out. When an opponent misrepresents themselves and their policies, this is entirely called for.

Obama would do well to learn from Biden’s example. Because Romney is extraordinarily loosey goosey with the facts. To leave such misrepresentations unchallenged risks that people, who don’t have access to the same level of information as a sitting President, might begin to believe these false claims. And we can already see how much damage this has done to republicans ability to understand facts and deal with reality. If the entire electorate becomes as misinformed we are lost, adrift on a sea of media impulse, shackled to the whim of the wealthy.

Something can be said for Ryan. He did tell the truth on abortion. And, appropriately, Biden didn’t challenge his truthfulness. He simply passionately described his own position in defense of women. Making his own assertion that he would fight to protect women’s rights and that he believed the assault on women’s liberties was unconscionable. And this gives us an example of how an honest debate should work. It should involve a direct and transparent comparison of candidates positions on issues. It leaves the power of choice in the hands of the American people. But when one candidate holds no respect for the truth, that candidate must be called out. Called out for attempting to deny people the right to choose candidates based on a clear understanding of positions. In fact it is a responsibility to the American public that misinformation and false claims be pointed out for what they are. A lie unchallenged is a lie free to harm the American people. And a false claim brought to light is one that can no longer live and continue to do its terrible damage.

Joe Biden did the right thing last night. He called out Ryan’s lies. It was a public service. It was not rude. It was respectful to the American people. And this is something republicans would do well to learn — a little respect for, not just a flag lapel pen, but for what that flag actually represents.

And this is why Joe Biden won, because liars never win in the light. And Joe proved that with a glorious, glowing smile.

7.8% Unemployment and Falling: So Why are Republicans Selling Another Economic Decline?

Confidence. It’s a funny game, isn’t it? And the most prominent con-game going on right now is this endless selling of economic decline.

‘The economy is bad,’ we hear. ‘The recovery wasn’t fast enough,’ they say. ‘Obama failed’ — and that’s the real message they want you to believe. They want you to believe that you’re miserable, things are terrible, and that the person to blame is Obama. They want you to believe that things are as bad as … well… as bad as four years ago.

Perhaps the clearest illustration of this illusory sales pitch was when its very premise was threatened by a drop to 7.8 percent unemployment, putting a cherry on top of the strongest sustained jobs growth since 1984.

These rosey facts led GOP magnates like Rick Satelli and Jack Welch to assert there was a ‘government conspiracy’ to fudge the numbers. And since employment figures are as closely guarded as US nuclear weapons codes, these assertions were quickly proven to be what they were: preposterous.

It’s a chancy game, this selling of recession. Because the sales pitch itself creates a certain amount of damage. If people believe it, it suppresses economic confidence. It prevents people from buying. It may prevent some from seeking a job they would otherwise qualify for. It creates a kind of sense of malaise so poisonous to a post-recession expansion.

Yet this selling of recession hasn’t only been verbal. It has been legislative. Every bill that would have actually resulted in jobs creation has been blocked by republicans in Congress for the past two years.

Benjamin Feinblum summed up how these blockages keep happening in his recent report after the Republicans blocked a jobs bill aimed at helping veterans coming home from war find work:

The method Republicans have used to block all jobs legislation in the past two years is the same. A jobs bill comes up, it is filled with positive things for the economy, Republicans filibuster debate, this shields them from having to make floor speeches on why they don’t want tax breaks for small businesses… etc.

Why? Well, if the economy recovers too strongly before an election, Republicans will lose power.

Futhermore, republicans have engaged in a direct assault on America’s best hope for a new growth industry — alternative energy. At every turn we hear attacks on solar, wind, renewables and, most of all on the Chevy Volt. This has even caused some defections in the ranks of republicans. For example, Bob Lutz has been deriding republican-led attacks on the Volt ever since the vehicle launched in December of 2010:

Yesterday Forbes published an op-ed piece from GM’s former CEO, Bob Lutz defending the Chevy Volt and calling on certain right wing media outlets to focus on telling the truth, rather than concocting lies. One wonders after reading his piece whether the Republican Party believes in that Communist strategy that the ends justify the means? — Torque News

We know republicans would have preferred to let GM go bankrupt, as Romney once advised. Now they attack an American innovation marvel. One that is leading an electric vehicle charge that could break the back of fossil fuel dependence and spur the American economy to new growth all in one go. Just last month, nearly 6000 electric vehicles sold in the US. Given these numbers, it appears that EVs are taking off even faster than their predecessor, the hybrid. Meanwhile, US alternative energy production has doubled since Obama took office.

Sadly, the sales pitch of ‘recession’ continues. In just this past week’s debate Mitt Romney chided Obama for investing 90 Billion in green energy. That 90 billion included the stunning success the Volt is now becoming, in spite of a right-wing media assault. That 90 billion included a doubling of US renewable energy production. That 90 billion helped to support hundreds of thousands of jobs in places like Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Texas and New Jersey. That 90 billion helped to indirectly support 8.5 million jobs that result from alternative energy — a number three times higher than that supported by fossil fuels for each dollar spent (Business Week).

Yet all Romney could say for this emerging American revolution? Solyndra. The cherry picking of one failed company in a wave of overall success. I suppose Romney could have thought of better use for that 90 Billion? Funneling it into a 5 trillion dollar tax cut for the rich, perhaps? Or, maybe investing it in ‘nation building’ overseas, as he mentioned recently in a foreign policy speech at VMI. But, under Obama, that money, instead has been invested in nation building at home.

7.8 percent unemployment and falling… Stock market doubles. It looks like a little nation building is making things better. Far better than when Bush left office at 7.8 percent unemployment and rising at the rate of 750,000 jobs lost each and every month.

So what’s Romney’s big beef with building up America for once? Why keep bashing her?

I don’t know if republicans, overall, are good or bad people. I suspect that they are good, just misled by misinformation and succumbing to that all-too-human failure of believing that the ends justify the means. But, just like Mitt Romney, they seem to be decent folk employed in the bad work of short-selling America. And it is this bad work that is so very unhelpful and destructive. The defending of tax cuts that aid in the shipping of jobs overseas. The defending of the dominance of the oil, gas and coal industry, which staunches future energy development, jobs growth, and prevents the tackling of the farmland-destroying menace that is climate change.

What this reveals is that republicans have taken the cynical approach of hurting America in the hopes that it will aid them in the regaining of power. This ‘conquer America’ strategy through a systematic damage to America’s prospects would be something expected from a foreign power seeking to undermine America’s status for the advancement of its own. But it is a terrible betrayal for such a policy to be leveled against America by one of its own political parties. One that prides itself on its patriotism.

For republicans, it is best to learn that, sometimes, it is better to lose for the right reasons than to win for the wrong ones. For winning the wrong way often results in a short term gain at the expense of a later consignment to the dust-bin of history — not to mention the terrible damage that occurs along the way.

Message to Romney and republicans: stop doing bad work. Stop selling America short. Stop selling recession in the midst of recovery. Stop assaulting the new industries that will create the new jobs. Stop attacking American innovations like the Volt. Stop holding back legislation that helps people find work and helps build jobs. Stop making it harder on farmers and the people who tend to the engines of democracy — the hard-working people of America. Stop hurting us. Stop hurting America.

And to Americans tired of this endless selling of recession, the sandbagging of US jobs progress, the destruction of emerging US industries, and the failed policies that caused our terrible recession in the first place: you have both the ability and the opportunity to remove these republicans in Congress and to prevent them from holding the White House again this November. Who knows, perhaps the time is right for a voter revolution against a harmful party, that acts so much like a foreign power, occupying our golden shores.

Links:

http://www.torquenews.com/1075/bob-lutz-defends-volt-calls-republicans-be-truthful

http://www.theatlanticwire.com/business/2012/10/unemployment-plummets-78/57640/

http://www.policymic.com/articles/11510/senate-republicans-block-another-jobs-bill-face-backlash-from-american-public

Who Does the Internet Think is ‘Completely Wrong?’ — Google to Find Out

As a measure of public opinion, it’s difficult to beat an uncensored Internet. You just have to do a little digging. A search here, a search there. Well, one meme has just cropped up that may surprise you. Or, as in the case of many, it may simply confirm what you already knew.

Find out for yourself by Googling or, even better, Google image searching “Completely Wrong” and see what you come up with.

For my part, I’ll leave you with this hint provided by Florida Today.

And just one more hint:

Americans who bust their asses at work, in volunteer, community service, or in the quest to find a job able to support a family, don’t like it when you call them moochers. Further, it is the height of arrogance and ignorance for someone to claim that the people who ‘mooched’ likely include people whose jobs were shipped overseas or lost when ‘a completely wrong someone’ profited by driving American companies into bankruptcy.

Completely wrong. Google it.

EDIT: Seems to be some speculation that a blogger created this Google bomb. I can assure you, and my wife who notified me will bear witness, this Google bomb was entirely self inflicted.

EDIT: After seeing the Vice Presidential debate, I think I know now who threw the pie. Say it ain’t so, Joe!

UPDATE: Please watch the video below to see how Romney’s Bain Capital is still shipping US jobs to China:

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted Still Fighting to Suppress Christian Minority Vote

If Martin Luther King were alive today, he’d be marching in Ohio. Here’s why:

It is a tradition among many Ohio churches to bus congregation members to the polls the weekend before voting in Ohio in an attempt to enable individuals to exercise their constitutional rights. Election after election, churches have provided this service to parishioners and to the country itself, aiding people in the exercise of what can best be termed an American value.

Now, a republican appointee has decided to remove a provision that has enabled voter participation election after election.

Today, with numerous judges ruling Husted’s attempted removal of early voting a ‘voter suppression effort’ specifically targeting Christian minorities, secretary of State Jon Husted has appealed his efforts to suppress voters to the highest court in the land. “The court is saying that all voters must be treated the same way under Ohio law,” Husted complained in his statement this morning.

GOP election board member Doug Priese echoed Husted’s sentiments noting:

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t … accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine.”

Husted’s remarks and actions also eerily echo those of Pennsylvania’s House Majority Leader Mike Turzai who infamously told Republicans at a party event: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.” Husted has also derided republican extremist groups like ‘True the Vote’ who organize in attempts to intimidate voters at the polls. So Husted appears to be working as hard as he can to suppress the votes of Christian minorities in Ohio even as he derides others who do the same.

But, this time, the smoke screen won’t work. Husted’s appeal to the Supreme Court shows his true intentions — do everything he can to target voters from an opposing political perspective with policies that limit their options to vote come election day.

Links:

http://colorlines.com/archives/2012/10/ohio_appealing_to_us_supreme_court_to_block_weekend_early_voting.html

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